Despite the fear they evoke, snakes play an important role in Georgia’s ecosystem.
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Of the 46 snake species known in the state, six are actually venomous, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources' wildlife division. And of those six, experts say bites from only three — the timber rattlesnake, Eastern diamondback and cottonmouth — are realistically threatening.
The rattle is a warning sign that the snake is aware of a threat.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta provides guidelines on what to do if someone is bitten by a snake. The first suggestion is to try to remember the color and shape of the snake, which can help with treatment of the snake bite.
Timber rattlers, the most commonly seen in Georgia according to the UGA SREL Herpetology Program, “are typically more brown or yellowish and may even be black. Both forms have solid black tails that appear almost velvet and black chevrons on the back and sides with the point of the (V) pointing forward.”
Snake sightings on Tybee Island can be reported by calling the police at 912-786-5600.